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    Critical Times: The Boston School Bus Drivers and the Necessity of Political Education

    by Danny Haiphong

    A courageous, overwhelmingly non-white bus drivers union is locked in struggle with the multinational Veolia corporation, a classic plunderer whose goal is to “dismember the most radical union in the city.” USW Local 8751 not only fights for children’s safety and a decent wage, “the leadership has fought for the self-determination of oppressed people all over the globe since the union's inception.”

    Rocketship to Profits: The Super-Rich Shape Education in Their Own Image

    by David Bacon

    The mega-profiteers of Silicon Valley market a privatized brand of education that “is predicated on paying minimal attention to anything but math and literacy, and even those subjects are taught by inexperienced teachers carrying out data-driven lesson plans relentlessly focused on test preparation.” Education must become a business, they say: "If you want to cure – really cure – a problem in society, you need to come up with a sustainable solution, and that means making money."

    Serial School Privatizer "Chainsaw Paul" Vallas Gets Ready For His Next Job

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Neoliberalism holds that all human interactions should to be disciplined and mediated by the market. Paul Vallas is the nation's neoliberal chainsaw man on public education. After savaging public education in Chicago, Philly, New Orleans and Bridgeport, he has been summoned home to Illinois by the Democrat governor as his running mate.

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November

    by the N. O. Equity Roundtable

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November from N.O. Education Equity Roundtable on Vimeo.

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November from N.O. Education Equity Roundtable on Vimeo.

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools is the first in series of short videos, that reveals the real story behind the creation of the nation's first all charter school district. These videos are made possible with the support of the The Schott Foundation and The New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable. They are produced in partnership with Bayou and Me Productions.

    One Year After Chicago Closes 50 Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union Assesses the Lies and Lasting Damage

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    A couple years ago, we at Black Agenda Report wondered why the closings of 40 public schools over three years in Philly and 50 schools in Chicago were not national news. The answer of course, was that corporate media and politicians from Romney and Obama down to black mayors and state legislators agree that public education ought to be handed to business groups and charter schools even though privatization is enormously unpopular.

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    Cory Booker Hits Senate Just in Time to Vote for Private School Vouchers

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker began his political career as an advocate of publicly funded vouchers for private schools – a position that put him at the far right of the political spectrum. Today, private school vouchers remain a largely Republican domain, but Booker will find it hard to avoid supporting a vouchers bill sponsored by a senator from Tennessee.

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    On the Night Negroz lost their minds…

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Since that November

    Night in ’08, Negroz

    Ain’t been straight…

    End Game For Corporate School Reform: Privatized Holding Tanks, Remote Ed, Military Charter Schools

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Chicago, the city the president and his secretary of education hail from, has been the laboratory of corporate education reform and privatization. Among its “innovations” are the mass closings of public schools, and handing over entire schools to the army, the navy and the marines.

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    Basketball Mayor Hypes School Privatization, Shoots An Air Ball

    by Seth Sandronsky

    Charter school operators and their political servants make bogus claims of educational gains – claims that are often passed along as fact by supposedly reputable media. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson is a propagandist for privatization, and an ally of corporations that have a huge stake in undermining public schools. “It is vital to follow the money on issues such as public education.”

    Teach For America Rap -- A Scab Is A Scab Is A Scab

    Teach For America Rap: A Scab is a Scab is a Scab

    What do you call cheap "replacement workers" summoned by management? From the HBO series "Treme".

    What's the Difference Between Teach For America and a Scab Temp Agency?

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Back in the days of organizing meat packing, steel and auto workers, employers couldn't use tax-exempt donations to transport, pay and train their scabs, and they had to wait for strikes to deploy them. That was before Teach For America....

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    Tim Wise's July 29 Teach For America Diversity Training IS A Ghetto Pass, Not Harm Reduction. Sign the Petition

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Last week we took longtime friend Tim Wise to task for stamping the anti-racist ghetto passes at Teach For America July 29 in Charlotte.  Tim's 3,000 word response didn't tell us where he is on school privatization, cited "harm reduction" and "because it's there" as reasons to stamp those ghetto passes.  Epic fail.  So forward the petition, sign the petition and let's do what we can to discredit Teach For America, with or without Tim Wise.

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    Why Is Tim Wise Stamping the Anti-Racist Ghetto Passes at Teach For America

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Tim Wise specializes in talking to white people about racism. Teach For America is a major player in the elitist and racist scam to privatize public education, supplying mostly white grads of elite colleges as ghetto teacher temps. Is this a match made in heaven, or in hell?

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    Chicago Teachers Build a Movement

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Chicago teachers see themselves as engaged in a movement to defend the public sphere from corporate acquisition. “Wall Street hedge funders and other speculators are betting heavily on school privatization as the next great investment frontier.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – 3/24/13

    Chicago Teachers Prepare Electoral Challenge to Mayor Emanuel

    Massive school closings have made Chicago “ground zero” in the battle to preserve public education, said Michael Brunson, of the Chicago Teachers Union. Fifty-four schools have been targeted for closure, this year, most of them in Black and brown neighborhoods. “People don’t want to move into a community if they don’t have a school they can send their children to,” said Brunson. “It’s part of a downward spiral that disinvests from our communities and causes them to crumble.” The teachers union plans to register 100,000 new voters to challenge mayoral control of the schools.

    NYC Parents Boycott High Stakes Testing

    With their parents’ permission, students at 33 New York City schools will opt out of scheduled standardized tests. “We feel that there is too much riding on these exams that have so much to do with the dismantling of the public school system,” said Cynthia Copeland, a parent and member of Time Out From Testing. “It’s this constant teaching to the test; there’s no real learning going on.”

    Newark Protests Against Social Security Cuts

    The People’s Organization for Progress held demonstrations, in Newark, New Jersey, to protest President Obama’s proposed cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs. Chairman Larry Hamm noted that POP endorsed Obama “in both elections after much discussion and debate.” But, “now we turn around and have to fight the very guy we voted for.” Obama, said Hamm, is “the first Democratic president to actually propose cuts to Social Security.”

    Obama is “Face of Capitalist Empire”

    From the start, Obama has been leading the charge to betray Social Security and the foundation of the Democratic Party’s policy platform, which is the New Deal,” said Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina writer and activist. “Obama is the face of the capitalist empire; that’s what he believes in,” said Gray. “What troubles me about Black Obama supporters is, they just seem to ignore it. It’s all about misguided racial pride.”

    EEOC Dismisses Black Complaints, Blames Sequestration

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims that sequestration-mandated spending cuts will add to the agency’s backlog of employment discrimination cases. But Ricardo Jones, the former chief investigator for the EEOC’s southern New York region, says the Commission is already dismissing the vast majority of Black complaints, and “hasn’t paid overtime to any investigator or mediator at the EEOC for the past 15 years. According to Jones, the Commission “only finds reasonable cause 3.1% of the time. That’s worse than the Bush administration.”

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    School Privatization Fraud: Michelle Rhee May Yet Join Beverly Hall in the Dock

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    “Michelle Rhee may yet pay for her the damage she has inflicted on society and its children.” The former DC schools superintendent and privatization poster girl has been exposed to charges of fraud, along with her sister in crime, former Atlanta superintendent Beverly Hall. The real criminal enterprise is codified in No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, headed up by the Bush and Obama gangs.

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    The Lords of Capital Seize Detroit

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Corporate conspirators have Detroit in their clutches. “Lawyers for Jones Day will be handling the sale of Detroit’s property and the cancelling of its contracts as ordered by another Jones Day lawyer, Kevyn Orr” – which means that “the same law firm is effectively serving as attorney, client, and local government in Detroit.” Democracy abolished, corporate rule installed.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/11/13

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/11/13


    The Greatness of Chavez

    Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan president, “put the project of socialism back on the map in Latin America,” said Gregory Wilpert, co-founder of However, “It was only after the 2002 coup attempt that he became more radical” and “it wasn’t until 2005 that Chavez declared himself to be a socialist. The experience radicalized him.”

    Chavez “changed the world, changed Venezuela, perhaps forever, he has changed South America, and he has created conditions for a new configuration of humanity,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “He is part of the process of creating a South-South civilizational axis.

    Double Protest Against NAACP

    Protesters will stage actions at the NAACP’s Washington bureau, on April 3, and at the civil rights organization’s national headquarters, in Baltimore, the next day, said Rev. Edward Pinkney, the former head of the NAACP in Benton Harbor, Michigan. “We have given the NAACP a free pass, just like we gave Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson – because they’re Black.” Pinkney wants the NAACP’s non-profit status revoked for acting as an annex of the Democratic Party.

    Perverse Effects of New York City Police Quota System

    The Police Reform Organizing Project issued a wide-ranging report on New York City police practices, including its stop-and-frisk quotas. “Policing has been turned upside down,” said project director Robert Gangi. “We have a police force that is under pressure to engage in punitive interactions with community members,” including false arrests.

    Public Education Crisis

    There’s a destruction of public education taking place, whether it’s charter schools or corporate takeover of curriculum, all for the benefit of the wealthy, whose children do not attend public schools,” said Dr. Donald Smith, a founder of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. “Most Black educators, I’m sad to say, are at sleep at the wheel,” seemingly unaware of the crisis.

    Obama Keeps Shopping for Grand Bargain

    President Obama has tried to conclude his “grand bargain” with the GOP “over and over and over again,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of It's Our Economy. “This is his fourth time. If you are going to raise more money, but not to meet people's needs, why are you doing it?” asked Zeese. “The bankers want it” to pay down the debt, “and that's what they'll get unless people stand up and say, No.”

    Older Workers Hard Hit

    Older Black workers face special problems in the current economy, according to a recent report of the American Association of Retired Persons. “It’s much more difficult to get a job in your 50s,” said Edna Kane-Williams, the AARP’s vice president for multicultural engagement. Almost 40 percent of those who are working “think it is very likely or somewhat likely that they will lose their jobs or have to give up working for themselves.”

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    Why Isn't Closing 129 Chicago Public Schools National News?

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

    It's an obvious question, with an easy answer. Our nation's bipartisan political elite have decided to privatize public education. They know the only way they can execute this deeply unpopular policy is to do it on the down-low, with a minimum of coverage, and no mention of the p-word, especially of growing civic resistance to it.

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    On Education, Barack Obama is the President of Privatization. Can We Stop Him? Will We?

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    By the time his term is over, President Obama and his Race To The Top program will have forced the closure and privatization of thousands of inner-city schools, a feat no white Republican or Democrat could have accomplished. But he'll only be president 4 more years. If we can stop this now, his successors won't be able to do this again. Can we? Will we?

    Black Agenda Radio on PRN -- Week of Feb 11, 2013

    Obaama's promised homeowners relief hasn't arrived
    UNAC: US and France out of Africa!
    Bush Policies Still in Effect Under Democrats
    The NAACP’s Flawed Image
    New Orleans Children Are Guinea Pigs in School Privatization Experiment

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    Parent Trigger Laws Coming To Georgia This Year – The Privatization of Education Marches On

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

    The forces of education privatization scored a major victory this November in Georgia, thru passage of a cleverly written constitutional amendment back by a multiimillion dollar deceptive ad campaign, and the active backing or complicit silence of much of the black political class.

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    MOVIE REVIEW: The 3 Big Lies in the 'Won’t Back Down' Movie...

    by Julie Woestehoff

    The alleged “documentary,” Won't Back Down, universally praised in corporate media as the true-to-life inspiring story of big-city parents fighting bad teachers, worse unions and failed, unresponsive public schools is pure right-wing propaganda. Financed by the same right-wing billionaire who paid for “Waiting For Superman,” its intention is to build support for “trigger” referenda on the ballot across the country which will greatly further the cause of school privatization.

    Freedom Rider: Democrats Show Their True Colors


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Democrats in Charlotte deserve the president they nominate. They are union members with no self-respect, African Americans who ask nothing for their own people, “anti-war” folks who oppose only Republican wars – and the fat cats who profit from it all. “Romney has no room to criticize Obama because Obama is now the war monger in chief, with the body count to prove it.”

    The African American Achilles Heel


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Black unity has served African Americans well – until now, when the enemy has a Black face. Suddenly, our tried-and-true instincts betray us and our political cognition collapses. Obama’s many crimes fail to register in Black brains. African Americans “filter out any and all information that might shatter the illusion that Obama is all that stands between Black folks and the Devil, himself.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 2, 2012

    Give the People Medicare-for-All

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s vetting of President Obama’s health legislation means Americans will be forced to “spend up to 9 percent of their income and still not get actual healthcare,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, who joined other physicians in a brief on behalf of Medicare-for-All. The Obama bill amounts to “corporate welfare on steroids,” said Dr. Flowers. Jean Ross, a co-president of National Nurses United, said “No one should have to wait till they’re 65 to have the best healthcare system. We need Medicare-for-All, from the time you’re born.”

    Mandatory Life in Prison for Juveniles is Unconstitutional

    In every area of the law we protect child status, except in the criminal justice system, where we increasingly sentence them just as if they are adults – even if they’re as young as 13 or 14,” said Bryan Stevenson, of the Equal Justice Initiative. Under the high court’s ruling, juveniles can still be sentenced to life, but the penalty cannot be mandatory. Minorities make up about 70 percent of kids serving life terms.

    Arizona Immigration Decision is a Victory, But…

    It is wrong to assume that Justice Roberts has a rebirth as some type of moderate,” said Shanta Driver, national chairperson of BAMN, By Any Means Necessary. Racial profiling remains embedded in U.S. immigration practice, “including the federal Secure Communities Act,” backed by the Obama administration.

    It’s “All Purely Race” in Jasper, Texas

    The Texas town where three white men chained and dragged James Byrd Jr. to his death behind their pickup truck, in 1998, recently recalled two of its Black city councilmen and fired its first African American police chief. The town’s racists “believe that they can do and say anything without anybody taking issue with them,” said Atty. David Bersen, who filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint on behalf of ex-police chief Rodney Pearson. “It’s all purely race.”

    Lynne Stewart Sentence Stands

    Human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart lost her appeal of a 10-year prison sentence for her conduct in defending a client on terror charges. Stewart, 72, is held at a medical prison near Fort Worth, Texas, where she recently underwent surgery. “They’re referring to Lynne as having disrespect for the law,” said her husband, Ralph Poynter. “My reaction is, anybody that has studied the history of American law knows it’s based in genocide, slavery and the double standard. The only things we can look up to in America that are positive are those people that followed justice rather than law.”

    New Orleans Katrina School Firings Illegal

    A federal judge ruled that local and state officials acted illegally when they fired 7,500 New Orleans public school employees to make way for charter schools, in the wake of the 2005 Katrina disaster. Seven of the former employees won cash awards ranging from $48,000 to $48,000, and the total owed to the entire class of plaintiffs could run in the tens of millions. “From the beginning it was a wrongful takeover” based on “manufactured evidence of failure,” said Willie Zanders, lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Many people saw this as an opportunity to privatize public education.” Eighty percent of New Orleans schools are now charters.

    POP Demonstration Marathon Passes One-Year Mark in Newark

    We’ve certainly drawn attention to the issue of unemployment in our community,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), based in Newark, New Jersey. POP set out last June 27 to hold daily demonstrations, 7 days a week, to match or exceed the 381-day longevity of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. The grassroots activists are building for a huge rally for jobs, peace, equality and justice on July 11 – with help from a coalition of 179 endorsing organizations.

    U.S. Enables Genocide in Congo

    The United States has been an enabler” of Rwanda’s destabilization of the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, contributing to the deaths of 6 million Congolese since 1996, said Claude Gatebuke, of the African Great Lakes Network. “The U.S. is one of the largest donors to the Rwandan government in terms of funds, but also military training” to the tune of over $1 billion in the past decade, said Gatebuke. “When you give a world criminal more resources, they commit more crimes.”

    Buju Banton Loses Appeal

    A federal appeals court confirmed Jamaican musical artist Buju Banton’s 10-year sentence on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The government case against Banton, who turns 39 on July 15, relied heavily on a paid informer. “Buju’s case represents a lot of cases in America in terms of the use of confidential informants who make millions of dollars of untaxed income,” said Chris Sweeney, editor of the New Times, in Miami. Dr. Carolyn Cooper, a member of Banton’s support committee and a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, in Jamaica, said “There are many of us who feel that Buju’s arrest and incarceration is really an attack on the Jamaican music industry, because of the kinds of messages that some of the artists have sending out about sexual politics. So many of us in Jamaica believe that it is a set-up.”

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    Public Charter Schools Thrive on Corruption and Economic Turmoil


    by Seth Sandronsky

    Republicans are often champions of private school vouchers, but Democratic politicians – including President Obama – have been central to the phenomenal expansion of public charter schools. Not coincidentally, multibillionaires have become huge patrons of charters, at the same time that massive cuts in school spending have made public schools less attractive. “Tumult plus big dollars from the wealthiest families in the country nurtures the growth of public charter schools.”

    Charters Have Nothing to do With Community Control of Schools


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Charter school advocates are among the biggest scam artists in politics. They use the language of community control to transfer public assets into private hands. “Promoters of 'trigger laws' have only one use for parents: to pull the trigger on a school so that it can be converted to, or make room for, a charter school operated by the private sector.” Have mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel, both bullies for charter schools, ever supported community control?

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    Why Isn't Closing 40 Philadelphia Public Schools National News? Where Is the Black Political Class?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    If some racist made an inappropriate remark about the First Lady or her children our national "civil rights leaders" Obama fans all of them, would be all over that. But standing up for ordinary black children is something our leaders just don't do much any more.  When was the last time you heard Sharpton, Jealous or any of that tribe inveigh against school closings and the creeping privatization of our schools?  

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of April 16, 2012


    Tear Down U.S. Prison Gulag

    It’s a counterinsurgency before there is an insurgency.” That’s how Los Angeles activist Clyde Young views America’s incarceration of 2.4 million people, most of them Black and Latino. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network plans actions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area on April 19, a National Day of Resistance to Mass Incarceration. Statutes like Florida’s Stand Your Grand Law encourage racist vigilantism, said Young. “They’re nothing but new forms of lynch laws, where any citizen…can shoot a person down on the street, and be exonerated.” In Atlanta, activist Joey Johnson said George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, was “acting out a larger, racist societal project. It requires a deeper, systemic change if we’re going to get to the root of it, and not constantly be dealing with the phenomenon.”

    Occupy Harlem to Rally for “All the Trayvons”

    It’s essential for us to build a united front against racist killings,” said Dr. William Sales, an organizer of Occupy Harlem’s rally and march, April 21. “We have to move against what has emerged as a New Jim Crow. It’s really a form of terrorism that is more associated with the Old Jim Crow than with law enforcement,” said Sales, an associate professor of African Studies at Seton Hall University. For information, call 646.812.5188.

    Justice Wanted: Plan Needed

    What appears to be an escalation of terror against Black people, is also routine practice,” said Kali Akuno, of the U.S. Human Rights Network, in Atlanta. Akuno is circulating a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice, which includes a data base on recent racist killings of Blacks. Young people “are being force fed this narrative that we have somehow magically emerged into some kind of post-racial society.” Instead, said Akuno, Blacks must “organize into formations that exercise power to create the kind of society that you want.”

    Housing Settlement Almost Worthless to Underwater Homeowners

    Activist David Hungerford led angry members of the Coalition to Save Our Homes to New Jersey’s state capital in Trenton, to demand reductions in mortgage principals. The $25 billion settlement between the nation’s state attorney generals and the big banks “broadly speaking, does almost nothing” for homeowners that are “underwater” to the tune of $700 billion. The top state law enforcement officers “talk with the people who perpetrated predatory lending, but they won’t talk to the victims,” said Hungerford.

    Black Teachers Pushed Out in Denver

    African American teachers are being “pushed, en mass to retirement, fired, put on disciplinary hearing or on leave” in the Denver public schools, because of the Obama administration’s so-called “turnaround” program, said Cozette Hammock-West, a retired teacher with the Alliance of Neighborhood Organizations for Justice for African Americans. Black educators are replaced by “young white teachers, most of them from the Teach for America program, where they are not even trained to teach.”

    A U.S. Chapter for ILPS

    On May 19, in Chicago, the International League of People’s Struggle, representing 200 organizations, worldwide, will welcome its newly organized U.S. chapter. “It’s not only people in those countries that are being invaded and bombed by the United States” that need solidarity, said Bill Doar, a vice-chairman of ILPS. “We, too, need international solidarity to fight against the power of Wall Street and U.S. corporations.” ILPS delegates will also take part in mass demonstrations against the NATO summit meeting in the city.

    A Real Socialist for President

    Stephan Durham, who’s seeking the presidential nomination on the Peace and Freedom Party line, says he is THE socialist candidate in the race. “Capitalism is addicted to war,” said the Freedom Socialist Party member. “Fundamental change” is needed in the U.S., “so that the world will have a chance to breathe.”

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